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Hyder Guitars USA-Elegance fretless build

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by BassShifter21, Apr 27, 2009.


  1. Greetings to all! Here is my current build. Let me know how you like it :)

    Specs:
    4 string fretless
    Cherry 2-piece body, natural finish
    Black walnut neck, natural finish
    Lined rosewood fingerboard w/ Mirror Coat epoxy finish
    Mother of Pearl dot fingerboard inlays and side dots
    Bone nut
    Gold Hipshot A bridge
    Gold Hipshot ultralight tuners
    Gold knobs with blue abalone inlays
    SGD ND3-35 neck and bridge pickups
    Custom wiring harness
    Rear control cavity


    Another bass is born!
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    A little water to show the grain
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    Delta Rockwell Uniplane makes short work of joining the egdes
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    Glued up and clamped
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    Starting the neck
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    My headstock design. Love the walnut!
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    Getting ready to lay out the body design. Grid lines help keep everything in perspective
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    Cutout on the band saw and ready to sand the sides smooth and straight
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    Rounded over with 1/2" cutter
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    This shot shows my body design pretty well. Got a good start!
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    Routing the neck sides straight and to size
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    3/4" round over on the back of the neck as a start for further hand shaping
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    Much more to follow. Let me know what you think. Your comments are always welcome!
     
  2. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    Wow - very interesting! Not going to play this one while seated, are you?
     
  3. jordan_frerichs

    jordan_frerichs

    Jan 20, 2008
    Nebraska
    looks like a sketch someone thought was too wild to actually work and got thrown away. Very wild and funky and likable. I admit when i saw the little drawings, my expectations went way down, but seeing them put into play brought them up higher than they were before. i am going to enjoy watching this!

    Could you explain the Rockwell? It is new to me. Also, I am curious about the neck taper setup you have. I have found flaws in my ways and trying to find the way to get the perfect reliable taper. I like that the neck and body are walnut and cherry. I am going to do a fretless soon with the reverse of that.
     
  4. bronzehydra

    bronzehydra

    Oct 14, 2008
    Mukilteo, WA
    I freakin' LOVE the upper horn!
     
  5. Thanks Jordan! The sketch was done quickly, in a bar right before a gig, after a few cold ones, so it certainly isn't perfect. But I saw something that inspired my design, and I had to capture it somehow before it left my brain housing group!!! I'm hoping the final product makes you forget all about the little drawing!
    The Delta Rockwell Uniplane is like a jointer, but a bit safer. It has a vertical rotary cutting head with alternating roughing and finishing cutters. You can do up to 6" thickness and the fine adjustment lets you dial in exactly how much material you want to remove. I bought it right around the corner from my house for $175. Excellent machine and a great bargain!!
    The neck taper was done by carefully laying out the size, calculating the router setback, and then using the straight piece that is attached to the neck as my guide. I am in the process of making a couple of router templates that will take care of this, as well as the truss rod and reinforcing bar channels and the headstock outline. My goal is like yours, reliable repeatability.
     
  6. Here are some pics to update you on my build.

    Making the surfaces of the neck and fingerboard nice and flat.
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    Channels routed for two-way truss rod and carbon graphite reinforcing bars, rod and bars installed, and ready to glue up the fingerboard. I installed a thin piece of microfoam in the bottom of the truss rod channel to silence the rod.
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    Fingerboard glued up and clamped flat to dry.
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    After the glue was cured, I used a counter top trimming bit in my router table to clean up the excess fingerboard material and dried glue all around the neck.
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    Here are a few shots of my parts after a lot of hand sanding and massaging. Still a lot of work to do on the neck to shape the back and radius the fingerboard. Also, still waiting for my pickups so I can get to work on the body router templates.
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    A few mock ups to show my design coming together!
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  7. That is just beautiful. What sort of finish is going on that body?
     
  8. Thank you! I'm going to use a wipe on poly/oil product from General Finishes to let the beauty of the wood show through. Same with the neck. The fingerboard will be getting a Mirror Coat finish.
     
  9. eleonn

    eleonn

    Aug 24, 2006
    Lima - PerĂº
    This is a kind of bass a would never ever play sitted down.
     
  10. I see what you are saying, but it might not be a problem at all. We'll see when I get her put together. I think it will be just fine!
     
  11. Time for an update! After several helpful comments by TB members, I reflected on the shape of the lower horn and came up with what I think is a better design. It should eliminate the concerns of the bass being uncomfortable to play while seated, and I actually like it much better!
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    Also, I have made some progress on the neck. Me and Mr. Spokeshave spent some quality time together shaping the back of the neck. Followed that with files and much hand sanding. Not quite there yet. Needs to be thinner. Then I used a couple files that I heated and bent to put a 12" radius on the fingerboard. Then I sanded it to a nice smooth finish. Next steps will be the lines and the mother-of-pearl dot inlays. Stay tuned for more :)
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  12. Cool shape! Makes me think of bands like Danzig. I like your jointer, too...a lot more than my 1950's deathtrap. I'll keep an eye out for one of those on Craigslist. Are blades for the cutting head available?
     
  13. Yvarg

    Yvarg

    Mar 10, 2007
    Buena Park, CA
    Now that's a way of radiusing the fingerboard I've never seen before! Do you ever worry about the file losing some of the radius?

    The bass is looking good, I really dig that fingerboard wood.
     
  14. Thanks! I'm not sure how readily available the cutters are since I haven't had to buy any. They are similar to a lathe tool bit, and they can be resharpened. I think I'll get many miles out of them before I have to replace them. I will check it out sometime and let you know.
     
  15. Thank you. Wait till you see the fingerboard with the cream colored lines and inlays. Working on that stuff right now. Then, under the Mirror Coat epoxy, that wood should look fantastic!!! I know that the files are not quite as hard as they were before I heated them, but they are plenty stiff for what I'm doing. They were just a brainstorm that I had to try. I got very nice results!! Gotta think outside the box somethimes.
     
  16. jordan_frerichs

    jordan_frerichs

    Jan 20, 2008
    Nebraska
    I would not trust myself with an electric sander on a fingerboard! So with the file, do you go back and forth on the neck, or slowly teater-toter it, or go along the fb while teater-totering it?
     
  17. I use it to draw file the fingerboard up and down the long axis. I keep it down flat and perpendicular with the center line. As you work the edges down, you get a shiny spot in the center. When you just get to the point where you clean that shiny spot up, you have your radius!
     
  18. A very cool and unique design, BassShifter!

    One quick question - I noticed that when you set the Carbon Fibre rods into the neck, you had them flat: _ rather than standing up: | . How much stiffness does this add?
     
  19. I appreciate the kind words! I tested the carbon fiber bars on the bench and pushed on them from both directions. They are plenty stiff each way. What I didn't want to do was rout a deeper channel close to the edge of the neck that I would find the hard way when I was thinning the back of the neck later on.
     
  20. Update on my neck. Laying out the fingerboard for fretlines and mother of pearl inlay dots. Lines are filled with a product called Durahm's Rock Hard Water Putty. Simple to use and it makes the nicest cream colored line. Then I sanded everything smooth. Just one more inlay to install. Still contemplating what I want to put in the neck heel area, right after the last fretline. Then, the Mirror Coat epoxy will be next! I did a test piece and, wow! Can't wait to see it on the whole fingerboard :)
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